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Show RCA 2019

Jessica Wetherly Wilson

Show RCA work

Major project:

Testing Ground

Testing Ground presents ​a world of fictitious creatures, an imagined, rendered experiment. The inflated and deflated body as a form of resuscitation. The clinical aesthetic explores the underlying inadequacy of a scientific perspective in its failure to animate these synthetic skins, a body without organs. Seeing a skin as a byproduct of a collection of consciousness – a form of unformed and formed body. 

I question how to sustain life in a future world, a failed search for an active technology which possesses its own life force. The reptilian and amphibian creatures subvert and distort reality, surreal in material and colour, their artificiality suspends the narrative in a scrambled logic.


  • With the current rate of acceleration, we have begun to fail to reliably predict the weather. The destabilising effect of no longer having foresight is synonymous with the loss of the future. Reaching into the unknown, the world unfolds before us at a dizzying rate. The disorientation of the array of possibilities is formidable.

    Like the past, the future is built from fragments which are obscured and unclear, veiled in a mystery, an alternative universe. We grasp at aspects of the possible outcomes. These slippery holograms whose glistening and ghostly forms hover all around us, morph, mutate and hybridise intersecting knowledge within the collective consciousness. In observing the potential of this disorientation, I have investigated the idea of what it means to be an astronaut on earth, where conflicts of natural and artificial, animate and inanimate, a point at which technology, machine and body come into question. With the imaginations of many millennials re-ignited with a revival in magic, mythology and folklore, I ask – what is the personal relationship with the ‘stuff’ that surrounds us? The mud, the air, the laptop and the smartphone, that makes us who we are, and allows us to communicate our ideas? 

    Through an intuitive and playful approach to alien encounters on Earth, I confront the indeterminable future not only for ourselves but all living things. My practise spans a variety of medias and processes founded in traditional sculpture techniques of modelling, moulding and casting. I make curious critters and biomorphic shapes that exist in a surreal landscape with a sci-fi aesthetic. The handmade quality expresses an agency to return to something local, immediate and intimate. Through piecing together fragments, I fossilise the present into imagined narratives presenting the ordinary as weird and obscure, as a fictional cave of forgotten dreams.

  • Previous degrees

  • Diploma in Fine Art, The Art Academy London, 2013; Foundation Diploma in Fine Art: Contextual Studies, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, 2009
  • Experiences

  • Sculpture tutor, The Art Academy, London 2014-present; Junior photoshop artist, Cityscape Digital, London, 2017; Co-Founder, Stanton Group Studios, Ludlow, 2016; Sculpture tutor, British Museum, London, 2015-16; Sculpture technician, Yinka Shonibare MBE, London, 2015; Sculptor technician, Circulum Sculpture, London, 2015
  • Exhibitions

  • Dirty Hands and Revelations, Standpoint Gallery, London, 2019; Dare to know, Dyson Gallery, London, 2019; The Petting Zoo, Hockney Gallery, London, 2019; Merz-hibition, Courtyard Gallery, London, 2019; If all else fails, Fieldworks Gallery, Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas, Austin, 2018; It sounds like Cher, Center Space, Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas, Austin, 2018; Sandcastle, Shed 1, University of Texas, Austin, 2018; Supercult, Hockney Gallery, London, 2018; Expanded Museum, Courtyard Gallery, London, 2018; WIP, Royal College of Art, London, 2018; October Moon, Menier Gallery, London, 2017; /W^NDER/.1, 5th Base Gallery, London, 2016; Concours d’Elegance, Windsor Castle, Windsor, 2016; FACE, Royal Opera Arcade, London, 2016; QEST, Windsor Horse Show, Windsor Castle, 2016; HUMAN: SCALE, Westbury Arts Centre, Milton Keynes, 2015; The Eternal City, The Underdog Gallery, London, 2015
  • Awards

  • Broomhill National Sculpture Prize, Broomhill Sculpture Gardens, 2019; NADFAS Scholarship, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, 2015
Royal College of Art